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going forwards, by seeking for some little opening betwixt the German's arm and his body, trying first one side, then the other; but the German stood square in the most unaccommodating posture that can be imagined--the dwarf might as well have been placed at the bottom of the deepest draw-well in Paris; so he civilly reached up his hand to the German's sleeve, and told him his distress- - The German turn'd bis head back, look'd down upon him as Goliah did upon David — and unfeelingly resumed his posture.
I was just then taking a pinch of snuff out of my Monk's little horn-box-And how would thy meek and courteous spirit, my dear Monk! so temper'd to bear and forbear !-how sweetly would it have lent an ear to this poor soul's complaint !
The old French officer seeing me lift up my eyes with an emotion, as I made the apostrophe, took the liberty to ask me what was the matter?-I told hi m the story in three words; and added, how inhuman it was.
By this time the dwarf was driven to extremes, and in his first transports, which are generally unreasonable, had told the German he would cut off his long queue with his knife--The German look'd back coolly, and told him he was welcome, if he could reach it.
An injury sharpened by an insult, be it to who it will, makes every man of sentiment a party ; I could have leaped out of the box to have redressed it. The old French officer did it with much less confusion; for leaning a little over, and nodding to a sentinel, and pointing at the same time with his finger to the distress--the sentinel made his way to it. There was no occasion to tell the grievance
- the thing told itself; so thrusting back the German instantly with his musket-he took the poor dwarf by the hand, and placed him before him— This is noble, said I, clapping my hands together
-And yet you would not permit this, said the old officer, in England.
In England, dear Sir, said I, we all sit at our ease.
The old French officer would have set me at unity with myself, in case I had been at variance, -by saying it was a bon-mot--and as a bon-mot is always worth something at Paris, he offered me a pinch of snuff.
THE FILLE DE CHAMBRE.
I STOPP'd at the Quai de Conti in my return home, to purchase a set of Shakspeare.
The bookseller said he had not a set in the world.
-Comment ! said I; taking ope up out of a set which lay upon the counter betwixt us.—He said, they were sent him only to be got bound, and were to be sent back to Versailles in the morning to the Count de B ****.
--And does the Count de B****, said I, read Shakspeare? C'est un Esprit fort, replied the book. seller. He loves English books; and, what is more to his honour, Monsieur, he loves the English too. You speak this so civilly, said I, that it is
enough to oblige an Englishman to lay out a louis-d'or or two at your shop—The bookseller made a bow, and was going to say something, when a young decent girl, of about twenty, who by her air and dress seemed to be Fille de Chambre to some devout man of fashion, came into the shop, and asked for Les Egarements du Caur & de l'Esprit: the bookseller gave her the book directly; she pulled out a little green satin purse run round with a riband of the same colour, and putting her finger and thumb into it, she took out the money and paid for it. As I had nothing more to stay me in the shop, we both walked out of the door together.
-And what have you to do, my dear, said I, with The wanderings of the heart, who scarce know yet you have one? nor, till love has first told you it, or some faithless shepherd has made it ache, can'st thou ever be sure it is so. -Le Dieu m'en garde ! said the girl.- -With what reason, said I,
- for if it is a good one, 'tis a pity it should be stolen : 'tis a little treasure to thee, and gives a better air to your face, than if it was dressed out with pearls.
The young girl listened with a submissive attention, holding her satin purse by its riband in her hand all the time.— Tis a very small one, said I, taking hold of the bottom of it-she held it towards me—and there is very little in it, my dear, said I; but be as good as thou art handsome, and Heaven will fill it; I had a parcel of crowns in my hand to pay for Shakspeare; and as she let go the purse entirely, I put a single one into it; and tying up the riband in a bow-knot, returned it to her.
The young girl made me more an humble courtesy than a low one—it was one of those quiet, thankful sinkings where the spirit bows itself down—the body does no more than tell it. I never gave a girl a crown in my life which gave me half the pleasure.
My advice, my dear, would not have been worth a pin to you, said I, if I had not given this along with it: but now, when you see the crown, you will remember it- --so do not, my dear, lay it out in ribands.
Upon my word, Sir, said the girl earnestly, I am incapable-in saying which, as is usual in little bargains of honour, she gave me her hand-En vérité, Monsieur, je mettrai cet argent à part, said she.
When a virtuous convention is made betwixt man and woman, it sanctifies their most private walks; so notwithstanding it was dusky, yet as both our roads lay the same way, we made no scruple of walking along the Quai de Conti together.
She made me a second courtesy in setting off, and before we got twenty yards from the door, as if she had not done enough before, she made a sort of a little stop to tell me again—she thanked me.
It was a small tribute, I told her, which I could not avoid paying to virtue, and would not be mistaken in the person I had been rendering it to for the world—but I see innocence, my dear, in your face and foul befal the man who ever lays a snare
in its way.
The girl scemed affected some way or other with what I said she gave a low sigh-I found I was not empowered to inquire at all after it-so said nothing more till I got to the corner of the Rue de Nevers, where we were to part.
- But is this the way, my dear, said I, to the Hotel de Modene? she told me it was--or, that I might go by the Rue de Gueneguault, which was the next turn. Then I will go, my dear, by the Rue de Gueneguault, said I, for two reasons, first, I shall please myself, and next, I shall give you the protection of my company as far on your way as I can. The girl was sensible I was civil --and said she wished the Hôtel de Modene was in the Rue de St. Pierre.--You live there, said I. She told me she was fille de chambre to Madame R****-Good God! said I, it is the very lady for whom I have brought a letter from Amiens. The girl told me that Madame R****, she believed, expected a stranger with a letter, and was impatient to see him-so I desired the girl to present my compliments to Madame R****, and say I would certainly wait upon her in the morning.
We stood still at the corner of the Rue de Nevers whilst this passed-we then stopped a moment whilst she disposed of her Engagements du Cour, more commodiously than carrying them in her hand—they were two volumes ; so I held the second for her whilst she put the first into her pocket; and then she held her pocket, and I put the other in after it.
It is sweet to feel by what fine-spun threads our affections are drawn together.
We set off afresh, and as she took her third step, the girl put her hand within my arm—I was just bidding her but she did it of herself, with that